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Vegan & Vegetarian Trail Cookbook


backcountry cooking   

Bread Getting Squashed in Your Pack?
Here are some alternatives...

©Laurie Ann March

We often like to nosh on soups and stews and on the eighth day of a wilderness trip it really nice to have a side of something fresh and bread-like. With a backpacking oven I can make all sorts of items such as pizza, focaccia, muffins, rolls, and biscuits. But what if you don’t have a backpacking oven? Here are two recipes from my books that can be easily made in a pot or frying pan. The bannock recipe can even be made over a campfire.

Basic Bannock Bread
© 2007 Laurie Ann March
from A Fork in the Trail

Makes 4 servings

Many believe that bannock bread originated with Native cultures, but it was the Scottish who brought this bread to North America. Traditionally, bannock is baked on a stick, but it also cooks well in a frying pan.

1 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1–2 tablespoons vegetable oil

At Home
Mix the dry ingredients, and pour them in a ziplock freezer bag. Add the oil to the other vegetable oil that you are taking on your trip.

At Camp
Add enough cold water to the bannock mix to make sticky dough. Cook the dough in a frying pan. When the bottom is golden, flip the bannock to cook the top.

If your pan is smaller than 9 inches in diameter, divide the dough in half and cook half at a time You want the bannock to be about 1/2 inch thick before cooking. Allow to cool. Wrap any leftovers in parchment paper, and store them in a ziplock freezer bag.

Bannock is good to dip in soups or stews and also makes great sandwiches. Add a tablespoon of sugar and dried fruit to the dry ingredients for a sweet bannock. Add roasted garlic powder to some butter and use the bannock as a base for garlic bread.

If you prefer to use whole wheat flour you can replace half of the all-purpose flour with all-purpose whole wheat flour.

© 2010 Laurie Ann March
from Another Fork in the Trail

Makes 4–6 servings

This bread is delicious when sprinkled with a little spice blend called za’atar.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus 1/4 cup extra all-purpose flour for kneading
1 envelope rapid-rise yeast (about 2 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil, for frying

At Home
Place the flour except for the additional 1/4 cup in a large ziplock freezer bag with the unopened envelope of yeast. Wrap the 1/4 cup extra flour and sugar separately in plastic wrap and the salt in a medium ziplock bag that has been labeled. Place the flour, sugar, and salt packages in the bag with the large amount of flour. Pack the oil with the other oil you will take with you on your trip.

At Camp
Put 1/2 cup warm water in your cup and mix in 1 teaspoon of sugar. Sprinkle the rapid-rise yeast into the water, and let it sit for five minutes. Meanwhile add 1/2 cup warm water to the freezer bag containing the salt. Remove the extra flour bundle from the large bag of flour and set aside. When the yeast is activated pour the mixture, along with the salt water mixture, into the large bag with the flour. Knead the bag for 8–10 minutes, adding more flour if needed. Divide the dough into 6 pieces and flatten each piece into a 1/4-inch thick circle. Heat a little of the oil in a frying pan over medium heat and fry each flatbread, flipping once, until golden brown on both sides.

If you prefer to use whole wheat flour you can replace half of the all-purpose flour with all-purpose whole wheat flour.

Both of these make for handy base recipes. The bannock is delicious with a little rhubarb and strawberries that were made at home, dehydrated, and then reconstituted at camp. It’s also great alongside your morning eggs or your favorite soup or stew. Sometimes we have bannock for lunch with some cheese and shelf-stable sausage. When we do this we make the bannock at breakfast or even the night before. We have a friend who makes this for dessert but stuffs it with caramel and apples. The flatbread is easy to make. It is delicious as an accompaniment to trail salads and dinners like Moroccan Chickpea Stew from my first book. Leftover flatbread can be use the next day for lunch with your favorite hummus or spread. Really, the only limits are your imagination.

This article originally appeared in Seattle Backpackers Magazine and has been republished with permission.

Written by Laurie March
Bannock photo courtesy Laurie March
Flatbread photo courtesy Shelley Lauzon

masthead photo courtesy
Laurie March





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